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Latin America viewed as promising region for nuclear energy development

A strategic document on Russia-Argentina partnership in peaceful uses of nuclear energy was signed in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the recent G20 summit. The document was signed by Rosatom Director General Aleksei Likhachev and Secretary of State for Energy of the Ministry of Treasury of Argentina Javier Iguacel. The document was signed in the presence of the presidents of Russia and Argentina. The main avenues of cooperation the document stipulates include the development of various models for building nuclear power plants in Argentina. The agreement also provides for the joint implementation of projects in third countries, including the construction of research centers and personnel training for them. At last the document paves way to joint scientific researches, joint personnel training, and a number of other areas. In line with the document the sides will also consider the possibility of jointly operating a fleet of floating nuclear power plants based on Russian designs taking into account the completed construction of the world’s first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov.

According to the Olymp Trade analyst Yuri Prokudin, Latin America is a rather promising region for the development of nuclear energy, BelTA has learned.

“Due to historic reasons the region lived through a local upsurge of nuclear power plant construction effort in the 1970s, which however had nearly died out by the 1990s. Argentina plays quite an important role in the region due to its massive reserves of uranium, which is needed for making nuclear fuel. Apart from that, Argentina also has deposits of lithium, which is also used by the power engineering industry,” noted Yuri Prokudin.

In his words, there are two nuclear power plants in Argentina, however, their contribution to the country’s total energy budget is comparatively small. Yet Argentina’s plans to raise the share of nuclear energy up to 18% do not look quite unreal. Many countries, including the USA with its CAREM 25 project and a PWR-type reactor, China, and Russia, are ready to participate in Argentinian nuclear projects.

The analyst believes that the Atucha nuclear power plant was built using PWR reactors while the Embalse nuclear power plant relies on a CANDU reactor of Canadian make. Rosatom may have a hard time penetrating the market. However, Rosatom’s promising projects, including a floating nuclear power plant, can be a very interesting proposal for Argentina. Apart from that, Rosatom already has quite a long track record of making small nuclear power plants, which require less investment. This is why it is quite probable that Argentina will find Rosatom’s proposal quite interesting and promising, particularly after the signing of the agreement on extracting mineral resources (uranium and lithium).